Why Steve Jobs Was So Successful

I recently finished reading Steve Jobs’ biography, and I have to say that a lot of the principles of success that I have discovered were staples in his personality and modus operandi. But the one thing that stands out among all others was perfectly captured in Apples 1997 advertisement, “Think Different.” If you haven’t seen this, head on over to YouTube and watch it. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

The reason is that the beliefs expressed in that 60-second advertisement line up so solidly with mine: “the people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones who do.” I believe this wholeheartedly. Everyone has the mental capacity to come up with something great that will change the world, and I do mean everyone. We each harness so much power in our minds that the only thing that is impossible is figuring out the limit to what we can do.

Belief is the one thing about Steve Jobs that I’m talking about here. He believed in his product, and, more importantly, in his ability to change the way mankind interacted with technology. The world in which he lived, in which computers were for big business and not for individuals or families, in which technology was difficult to use and often required extensive training to learn, Steve Jobs though differently. He believed that computers could be used to connect the masses, to help people produce and create, to explore and learn. And now Apple is considered the world’s #1 most valuable brand, according to Interbrand’s rankings. It all started with a guy with a crazy thought that went against the status quo.

So, if you want to be successful, make this one of your qualities too. When you look at things, acknowledge that they don’t have to be that way, they only happen to be the way they are now. Think big, and dream big.

Earl Nightingale said that everything around us will have to be done better and more efficiently in the future. Everything is in a constant state of improving over time. Shipping speeds will increase (have you heard about Amazon’s shipping drones?), production will improve and get faster, the internet and cars and fashion and sales and auto finance…they will ALL have to get better in the future. This is why competition is so helpful; it forces companies and individuals to become better, to improve constantly.

The reason Steve Jobs was so successful is because he was able to look at how things had been for decades and think, “ya know, I don’t think it has to be like that.” Apple’s market capitalization is over half of a billion dollars…I’m thinking he was right.

This is why I names my business “Irrational Living,” because I think we all need to live irrationally. We all need to look at how things are and think about how they could be instead. We all need to think of something worthwhile we want to do in life and believe that it’s possible, regardless of how many people say it isn’t or shouldn’t be. We all need to buy into our own ideas and beliefs and protect them from the naysayers.

So, if you want to be successful, find something about which you are passionate, something that you would pay to do, and then do it with all that you have. Learn about it and think about it and live for it, hear the people laughing at your ideas and understand that your time will come with effort and dedication, and believe that there’s nothing that can stop you.

I end with a quote from Benjamin Disraeli: “Everything comes if a man will only wait…I’ve brought myself after long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and nothing can resist a will that will stake even existence for its fulfillment.” Have an irrational belief in your capability and what you do in life, and nothing can hold you back.

Definition Of Success

I know what you’re thinking (welcome to the Twilight Zone): “How can you define success? Isn’t it different for everyone?”

You are absolutely right. Success is different for everyone. One person might define success as an income in the top 1% of incomes, another might define it as general happiness, and yet another as solid relationships and a modest income. I remember vividly hearing about a homeless person who lives nearby who raved about his life. He said he was free of responsibility, bills, debt, and got to shower every time it rained. Who is to say he’s not successful?

I have two definitions of success, and I’ve given them quite a bit of thought. The first comes from Earl Nightingale: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

This is my favorite. It address everything in one quick sentence. “Progressive realization” refers to the fact that success is not in obtaining things, it is the growth we enjoy as we work to obtain those things. It also addresses the law of attraction. “We become what we think about.” If we begin working diligently toward a worthy goal, we are already successful. This is HUGE. Not only does it give us the courage to start, but it also gives us the strength to keep going, because success lies in the journey toward a goal, not in the completion of the goal. And of course, “worthy ideal” is a very personal thing. My brother loves building cars, and he was incredibly proud when he got the first motor he built running. That was one of his worthy ideals. I was proud of him too, and astonished, but building a motor from scratch is not at the top of my list of worthy ideals. It’s all personal.

The second definition comes from Christopher Morley: “There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.” Similarly, this suggests that success is a highly personal thing. However you want to live life is success for you. Maybe you have huge aspirations of starting an international business, running a charitable organization, or changing lives. And maybe you just want to have enough money to live in your current lifestyle until you retire, and get good enough at chess to be the best in your retirement home. It’s highly personal. However you want to live life, that’s what you should aim for.

However…you need actually to define success for yourself, otherwise you’ll have nothing to work toward. This also should not be an excuse you use to convince yourself that your current lifestyle is “good enough,” and that you’ve done enough in life to be happy. Absolute nonsense. There is always something you can get better at, and that should be your goal: getting better at something in your ideal life.

Make sure you define your success specifically. And, as many people suggest, write your specific goal down on an index card and read it three or four times a day. Keep it with you at all times. It will keep you focused, and keep your definition of success fresh in your head.

How To Build An Internet Business

So…you have a product to sell, or you want to get more people reading your blog, or watching your videos, or retweeting your tweets…how do you do it? It’s deceptively simple.

We live in an instant world, where people seem to get famous on YouTube overnight, and we hear stories of people like E.L. James writing fan fiction for Twilight and then becoming a best-seller, and people like Tai Lopez whom no one ever heard of, and then suddenly everyone is talking about him. The number one thing you need to understand if you want “internet fame,” is that these things did not happen the way they seemed to happen.

Earl Nightingale says it perfectly: “our rewards in life are in exact proportion to our contributions.” This has been said thousands and thousands of times in thousands and thousands of different ways. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” “You get out what you put in.” “You can get everything you want in life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.” I’ll stop here…but seriously…I could go on for hours.

These overnight success stories had months, if not years of work behind them  The law of the Universe is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, meaning…you guessed it…what you put in will come back to you as a reward.

So here’s the first rule to gaining internet fame: put in the work! You can’t expect to half-ass something you’re doing and have people gobble it up and not notice it was half-assed, especially if you’re asking them to pay for it.

The second rule is to start small. “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” Get your eyes off of the prize. Don’t look at someone who has 6,000,000 followers and think they did that in a day. Guess what? In order to get to 6,000,000, they needed to get to 5,999,999, and before that they needed 5,999,998, and all the way down to ONE. Everything starts small. Work on building actual relationships with people. This is really why the internet exists, to connect us and get us to work together. So connect with people on a personal basis, and eventually, if you put that work into your product or service or blog or channel, they will sing your praises to others. But you should always focus on getting just one more subscriber, not 6,000,000.

The third rule is be honest. If you say you’re going to do something for someone, do it. Keep your promises. And be honest with who you are too. If you pretend to be someone or something different or bigger than you really are, people are going to notice. I know it’s super cheesy, but be true to yourself. People will admire your honesty.

So that’s it. I wanted to split this up into two posts, but I got excited. Take these to heart and I promise you will notice a difference in your internet presence. Stay connected!

Do You Think Too Much To Be Successful?

“What?! Do I think too much? How could I think too much? How do I know if I think too much? Is it bad for me? Should I stop? How do I stop?”

If the above sounds like the things that ran through your head when you read the post’s title, then yes, you think too much.

What I mean is that you use your conscious mind too much, and in the process your subconscious mind gets the short end of the stick. I argue constantly that there are two parts of your brain capable of thought: your conscious mind, and your subconscious mind. Both are capable of thought. Both are capable of solving problems. Both are capable of imagining things, and reasoning, and logic. One is just much, much better at all of it.

When you go through your day, do you face difficulty, stress, frustration, worry, anxiety etc? The fact is, you may be dealing with all of this because your conscious mind is working too much, and isn’t letting your subconscious mind have a say.

So how do you fix it?

Step 1: Relax

Set aside some time each day to relax. You can call this meditation, or resting, or an excuse for a nap, but all it really is is relaxing. Your goal here should be to shut off your conscious mind. Any thought that comes into your head should be released. Don’t worry about your car that needs an oil change, or the text you got but didn’t look at yet, or the bills you need to pay, or anything. Remove everything from your mind as it comes in. Now is not the time for it. The goal in this step is to shut off your pesky conscious mind. Don’t worry if you find this difficult. Practice makes…well, not perfect. There’s always room for improvement. But practice makes better, certainly.

Step 2: Focus

Once your conscious mind learns how to shut up for 20 minutes, begin to focus on a goal you have. It could be a long-term goal, or something you’re setting out to accomplish in the next week. Focus solely on this goal and how you can accomplish it. If another thought pops into your head, release it. Let it go. Stand guard at the gate of your mind. Be the bouncer. Be especially careful not to let in any doubts that you will not be able to accomplish this goal. Only focus on how you can accomplish the goal.

Step 3: Action

Your subconscious mind is limitless. It is powerful beyond all measure, but often we don’t use them because we either never learn how, or because we don’t understand that it is the key to anything and everything we want in life. When your relaxation and focus bring to mind an idea that will help you reach your goal, you need to put it into action. You can think the best ideas in the world, but until they are put into action they are worthless. Take the advice your subconscious mind is giving you.

Step 4: Repeat

Repeat the above steps until you have everything you want in life. Then set new goals, and keep going.

The simplicity might confuse you, but once you begin letting your subconscious mind take over for a while each day, you’ll understand why I’m so confident in the power you hold in your subconscious mind. You will think of ideas and strategies that will bewilder you, thing you never thought you would come up with. Once these are put into action, nothing can keep you from success. It’s completely inevitable.

So shut up your conscious mind for a while each day. All it brings you are lousy solutions and stress. Access the deeper, more logical, more powerful part of your brain: your limitless subconscious.

How To Believe Things In

Neville Goddard was a prolific writer and speaker in the early and mid-1900s. He has this one audio program in which he talks about “believing things in,” that is, believing them into being. The idea behind it is that our minds are infinitely powerful, and our thoughts become manifested in our physical world. Cool.

I’m currently reading “Wishes Fulfilled” by Dr. Wayne Dyer, and he brings up this crazy idea (crazy as in it’s mind-blowing, not worthless). Where did you come from? Before you were, what were you? Your body when you were a baby no longer exists, nor does the body you had when you were a toddler, or a teenager. Your cells die and get replaced. So then what you were two years ago is not what you are now. That body, those cells have died off and a new body is now here to represent your consciousness.

Oh, so strange!

More importantly, your thoughts and memories (consciousness) are the only things that persist. These are what give us memories, thoughts in the future, ideas, biases, etc. We have a constant stream of consciousness going all the time, and we cannot stop it. It flutters all around, sometimes with no obvious rhyme or reason at all. But only the things we think are things that come into our “real,” physical world.

Look around you. Everything there was once only a thought. Someone thought about shoes before they existed. Someone thought about clothes and jewelry and chairs and computers before they existed. So everything that exists in the future that doesn’t exist now will also come from thought.

This means that we can create things in our minds. Our minds are like manufacturing plants…no…even better: a research and development team, one that creates everything there is to create. This is incredible. Also a little trippy.

So now I’ll finally get to the believing it in part. When you believe something within the confines of your mind, believe it already exists, whether it’s abundance, a new invention, a company you want to start, anything, it will come into being. This is really the law of attraction, only expanded upon a little. But I thought these points were really great and I felt like I needed to share.

So have some faith in your idea, your product, your vision, whatever you want to do. Believe that it already exists, and it will manifest in the physical world, just like everything around you right now, and everything that will be in the future.

How Not To Get Overwhelmed

I recently posted a video about how life is comparable to a Rubik’s cube (here is that video). Basically, I postulate that each individual cube is one aspect of life and success. One might be family, another friends, another wealth, physical health, mental health, etc. When you take the puzzle apart, you can see that the pieces are very simple. But when all of those aspects get crammed into one puzzle (read: life), it gets complicated to the point of frustration, or to the point at which we think it’s impossible to solve. Now I went ahead and ruined that video for you!

I also sent out an email to my subscribers (you can subscribe at the bottom of this post) this morning that mentions this quote: “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So there’s a question now. Of course, if you want different things in your life and you’ve been doing the same things day in and day out for a year, it’s time to start changing them. But if you’ve just started a change, how long is long enough to keep going before you know it isn’t working?

What I mean by this is, we get discouraged too easily because we enjoy instant gratification. We might start doing something (let’s say…writing a blog) and expect it to catch on right away (100s of followers in the first week). However, life doesn’t work like that, and neither does success. Success requires long hours over weeks and weeks (sometimes years!).

But how do we know when something isn’t working? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this. How do I know if I’m wasting my time? Should I be doing something else? This is a major problem with success, because too many people give up too easily. I know what you’re thinking…but you just said if something isn’t working, then I’m insane! Okay, let me explain.

First of all, if you really want to be successful, you have to do what you love to do. Would you pay to do what you’re doing? If not, then I suggest finding something else. If you don’t love what you do, then you’ll give up too quickly. (As a side note, if you’re thinking you can’t make a living off of what you love, consider Jim Henson…guy played with puppets, and now he’s a millionaire. It’s possible.) As I say in my book, success requires immediacy, consistency, and sacrifice. Consistency is what I’m talking about here. You have to keep doing what you love, and never back down from that.

What you shouldn’t do is blindly continue doing the same thing within whatever you enjoy doing. So if you love blogging, and you decide to advertise your blog but it doesn’t bring you any readers, stop advertising. But don’t stop blogging! Do what you love, always, but change what you do within that field.

Okay, so how long do you stick with one particular strategy? Six weeks. If you don’t see progress after six weeks, give it up, or change how you go about it. It may seem like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a blink of an eye. Stick with a strategy for six weeks, and then modify it if you have to. This will ensure that you give it enough time to start working for you, but it’s also a good time to reflect on the progress it has brought you.

Here’s that email sign-up I promised. I send out ONE motivational email every morning:


Are You In Control Of Your Life?

I just had an interesting thought…if I asked you the following question, how would you respond: “Do you believe that you have everything you have decided to have in life, that everything you don’t have you have decided not to have, and that every part of how you live your life is controlled by you?”

I’m not sure what your answer would be, but I’ve asked quite a few people if they believe they don’t have the house they want, the car they want, the money they want, or the relationships they want because they have decided not to have them, and every single one of them has said “no.”

Fair enough, I guess. But then, who or what has decided what you have? Is there someone else calling all of the shots in your life? Tough question to answer…

One more question: let’s take someone who is wealthy and successful, has their dream house, drives their dream car, takes lavish vacations every other month, opens their mail to find checks rather than bills, owns their own business and is happy going to work every day, loves their spouse and enjoys every relationship they have…how would this person answer that first question?

Can you imagine asking this person if he or she believes that they have what they have decided to have, and lacks only what they have decided not to have, and having them respond with, “no, I just got lucky,” or, “yea, life kind of just handed me all of these wonderful things”? If you’re as smart as I think you are, you don’t think they would.

Earl Nightingale has a great quote: “We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.” This is completely true. We all decide on the life we will live, but the only people who admit it are proud of what they have. It reminds me of the two students, one who gets a good grade, the other a failing grade. The A-student sees his grade and thinks about the hard work he put in studying and reading for the test, and feels a sense of accomplishment. He is proud to have earned the A. The D-student says, “the teacher gave me a D.” Do you see the difference? It’s easy to think that we are just given what we have in life, but it’s not true. These two students think differently about their lot in life.

Like Zig Ziglar says, “it doesn’t matter your lot in life, it matters what you build on it.” The A-student put in time and effort and was happy with what he received, so he understood that he earned his grade. The D-student didn’t spend any time studying, and it’s easier for him to blame someone else than to blame himself.

Start understanding that you get what you decide to get in life. Your own actions and thoughts and effort lead to what you get, so start controlling your actions, thoughts, and effort.

What Your Future Holds

Okay, so just as a warning, I’m going to be talking about some potentially negative things in this post. I’m all about positivity to the point of delusion, but I think every once in a while, some of us need something different. And I’d just like to qualify this warning by saying that I am bringing up things that can potentially be thought of as negative. I, however, think about them in a positive way. It’s all about taking the bad and making it good. Let us proceed.

What does your future hold? If you’ve been visualizing, staying positive, believing that you’ll get what you want, and finding opportunity in everything around you, your future holds everything you want and much, much more. Or does it?

There are only two things that dictate what we can accomplish: ourselves, and death. The terrifying thing is, none of us know when we are going to die. We all put it out of our heads but the reality is that it’s right there, all the time. It could be tomorrow, or the day after, or 60 years from now. We never know.

One of the greatest things you can remember is, “live each day as if it was your last.” Unfortunately this saying has become so cliched that it’s so easy to brush it off. So I ask you: stop, and think about it. If you REALLY knew that tomorrow was your last day to live, what would you do differently today? Would you still go to your 9-5 job? Would you still hold that grudge, or be nasty to that waitress, or flip somebody off in the car next to you? Would you worry about embarrassment or your mortgage or bills? No. The polls have been taken and the results are in. The answer is “no.”

So this begs the question, why are you doing those things today? You know you actually could die tomorrow. I mean actually. It happens unexpectedly. I think one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard is a parent who works their butt off for however many years, they waste so much time working and miss out on time with their families and vacations and hobbies, and then die right after they retire! I hear about it constantly, it seems. People work their lives away because of FEAR.

Fear might be a topic for another blog post entirely, but it needs to be addressed here as well. We’re all scared of failure, or rejection, of falling short. But if you knew you were going to die tomorrow (which you could), would you let fear stop you? What is your dream? Do you want to open a business? Maybe, but you’re scared and it’s really expensive and someday…and every other fear I’ve heard. Do you want to publish a book? Maybe, but you’re scared no one will like it, or it will get rejected by agents….blah blah blah. What do you want? And what are you scared of? You should be most fearful of living an unfulfilled life. Please, don’t let fear get to you. Zig Ziglar says that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. I love what Steve Jobs says when he talks about how we could die before we’re ready: “Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

You have greatness within you. You have to get it out into the world because you never know when “too late” is. “Someday” doesn’t exist, so do what makes you happy and live the life you want to live before it’s “too late.”

How To Become Whatever You Want

There are a dizzying number of quotes from famous and successful people that basically say, in order to become a specific person (i.e. a musician, an author, etc), you need to do the things that type of person does. My favorite comes from Goethe, a German poet and philosopher: “before you can do something, you must first be something.” In other words…actually, that’s pretty straight forward, especially for a philosopher!

I hear so many people say things like, “I would love to be an author,” and when I ask how often they write they say they don’t, or once a week, or whenever they have spare time. How often do you think authors write? Stephen King forces himself to write 2,000 words a day. He acknowledges that some of them may be “crap,” but 2,000 crappy words often lead to 1,000 good ones, which might lead to 600 great ones. He has published 49 books, every single one of them a best seller. The proof is right there in the book pudding.

Think about what you want to do in life, as a career. Then think about a person who already has that career. THEN think about what that person does every single day of their lives. See, success comes from working diligently and persistently every single day. In order to do this, you need to form habits. The things that make you the person you want to be need to be done every day. And in order to form habits, you need to establish rituals. Whatever kind of person you want to become, figure out the rituals involved in being that person. Do one of those things tomorrow morning as soon as you wake up, and make yourself do that exact thing every morning, regardless of what else happens. Your life is defined by rituals, whether you control them or not, so you might as well control them.

Once you have that first ritual down and you’re doing it every day without thinking about it, add another one. Always be the person you want to be. Do the things you will be doing once you get where you want to go in life. It has been said that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between real input and fake input. Feed it the input that you already are the person you want to become, and you will become that exact person. It works like magic, but really, it’s just the power of your subconscious mind.

Want to learn to train your subconscious mind to do the work for you? Consider purchasing my book, “Your Subconscious Mind Is Listening.” You can get it here.

How Much Do Thoughts Weigh?

How much do thoughts weigh? I have no idea. Not important.

The point is, thoughts are things. Think about this: let’s say you’re in a dark alleyway. A little scary, huh? Now let’s say you hear footsteps behind you, coming closer. Even scarier. You probably feel a pulse of adrenaline course through your body, you might start sweating, your throat might feel like it’s closing up a bit. But then you turn around and find that there were no footsteps…the noise was just a piece of paper scuttling across the floor.

So…that physical response was not caused by something outside of your mind, because there was nothing there to be scared of. That response in the physical world was caused solely by your mind. Thoughts manifest themselves in the world around you. Your mind can change things in the physical world!

This is wonderful news for anyone who wants to reach success, because it means our visualizations can (and will!) manifest themselves in our daily lives. The power of visualization has been harnessed endlessly by successful people, and has been researched and written about extensively. I’m going to boil down all of that information for you in a nice, short paragraph.

When you visualize what you want in life, your subconscious mind cannot tell that that input is fake. It processes all information as real input. So when you vividly imagine having what you want, your subconscious mind accepts it as real, and will begin working toward that for you. This is closely linked to the power of positivity. When your subconscious mind accepts these visualizations as real inputs, it reasons that those things are possible because it believes they are already in existence. If you believe something is impossible (for you to do), even on a subconscious level, you will never accomplish it. Your subconscious won’t let you waste your time…how nice of it! But when you believe that something is actually possible for YOU, your subconscious mind will allow you to spend time and effort working toward it.

Wow, that’s one heck of a paragraph! I’m mighty proud of that. Read it again, take it to heart, and start visualizing your way to success. Remember, your thoughts are things, and will manifest themselves in your life, and your physical world.